A press release is one of the most important parts of running a business. It communicates with the news sources and the general public, the message you are wanting them to hear. It can describe a new product or service or could be addressing a negative issue that directly involves your business, either way the message must be clear and concise.
Prepare for Release
To prepare a press release you first must have a basic understanding of how they are formatted. Every press release should have the following information:
- A Headline – This area is used to get the readers attention
- Date of Release – You may issue a press release with a future date. This informs the media of when to make the announcement of the information you have shared. If the release is current the date area should read “For Immediate Release”.
- Press Contact Information – This area is where the business lists the contact information for the person in charge of handling media requests or questions.
- Bullet Point Summary – This area is a quick overview of what is in the release.
- Introduction Paragraph – This area should introduce what the release is about and begin putting the information into the readers head.
- The Second Paragraph – This area should have more specific details and a quote or two from the owner and upper level management.
- The Third Paragraph – This area is used for additional quotes (if any) and to close the press release.
- Contact Information – This section should have your business information; company name, address, email, website, and phone number should be listed.
Understanding the Release
It is important to understand that a press release should be fact based only and as short as possible. Journalists are very busy and will usually only scan through a press release to see if something catches their interest. If they decided to use the information you have supplied they may call to get more details for a formal story.
There are different reasons that businesses and organizations should issue press releases. We have outlined some of the major categories to help you understand the purpose.
- Product Launches – When businesses launch a new product it takes a lot to get the information out to the people. Be sure to be specific and show why it should be reported on.
- Upcoming Events – Having an event is a great idea but it can fall flat if no one is aware of the event.
- News Release – At times businesses need to address specific newsworthy events that they are involved in. Whether it be a robbery on premises or staff expansion always remember to keep the information under your control.
- New Staff Release – Businesses will from time to time hire replacements for staff and management. If you hire a new general manager it may be pertinent to let the public know about it. Be sure to include the person’s qualifications and background.
Controlling the Message
By issuing a press release the business has the ability to control the information flow. If information is being leaked or released by unauthorized staff, it becomes difficult to control the message.
It is important to make sure the target audience reads the document and understands it is the only official information that will be verified.
If you need assistance with creating press releases or giving out public information please give JLM Communications a call. We can work with you to create information flow that will benefit your business and your target audience.